There are lesser-known elements of Ryan’s plan that could prove equally unpopular, said Robert Bixby, executive director of the non-partisan Concord Coalition, a leading fiscal responsibility watchdog.
In addition to remaking entitlements, Ryan’s 2011 deficit-reduction proposal — which will be hung on Romney whether or not he agrees on all the particulars — targets some of the most popular middle-class tax breaks in the book.
“These are not loopholes but middle-class entitlements that run through the tax code: employee-provided health care, mortgage interest and charitable deductions, deductions for state and local taxes,” Bixby said.
. . . if the Ryan gambit isn’t a game changer in 2012, it may have set the stage for the long-term deficit deal both Obama and Romney say is needed — whatever the outcome of the election.
“The only reason to be optimistic is we have to deal with these issues. We’re just running out of time,” the Concord Coalition’s Bixby said. “We’re going to have to deal with this situation. You can’t kill off the baby boomers. …. I’m not really optimistic we can have an adult conversation. Nevertheless, if we start having one, maybe it will become more adult as time goes on."